Daily Archives: September 5, 2017

Today’s poetry and story exercises: 5th September 2017

*** If you enjoy these prompts, or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript, do take a look at my seven online courses… five currently half price and and two FREE! (coupon codes on the online courses page) and / or my Writer’s Block Workbooks… my best-selling eBooks – now available in eBook and paperback format!

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs. As you’ll see by the heading numbers, you may have missed a few but the links are listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there. So here are your poetry and short story exercises…

Poetry Writing Exercises 1209: Tuesday 5th September

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and another is FREE!

Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: Dundee, sterling, hope, cope, sap
  2. Random: a trick question
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: A Cold Welcome

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

Story Writing Exercises 1213: Tuesday 5th Sept

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts (or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript), do take a look at my online courses… five are currently half price and the other two are FREE (when using coupon codes)!

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Posted by on September 5, 2017 in ideas, novels, poetry, short stories, writing


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Another pantser. Most of us are. 🙂


Ali_ason 4896x3672Good morning Ali and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hello again, Jo and thanks so much for having me. As you know I live not for from you and have done since my marriage many (many!) years ago. However I was born and brought up in Scotland where I got my degree from St Andrews University. I love the West Country and my family (one of each) have grown up here, but of course you take the Scot out of Scotland but you can’t take … you know how it goes!

How did your writing journey begin?

Well, now you’re asking! I wrote a poem at school when I was six (didn’t we all) and joined the sixth form creative writing course (considered very new fangled back then) but I was in my fifties before I realised I hadn’t started the writing…

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Posted by on September 5, 2017 in writing